9 reasons why you shouldn’t buy video surveillance on AliExpress

9 reasons why you shouldn’t buy video surveillance on AliExpress

Buying video surveillance on Aliexpress is as easy as shelling peas. This is facilitated by an unprecedented abundance of supply and a low price threshold. However, getting what you pay for is exactly the case when it comes to video surveillance. Buy nice or buy twice. And the one who buys video surveillance equipment on Ali — thrice. As a specialist with over 10 years of experience in video surveillance, I support this statement with 9 reasons. Read on.

What should a buyer know?

The most important thing that a buyer of a video surveillance camera on Aliexpress  (and other similar related equipment) should understand is the awareness of personal, administrative and criminal responsibility for their actions.

Purchased video surveillance from Aliexpress may not be suitable for installation, integration and use. In addition, Chinese equipment is void of warranty and may violate applicable Russian legislation.

Accordingly, all the risks are borne by the Russian buyer.

TOP-9 reasons why you should avoid shopping on Ali

Want to know everything about video surveillance? Read our Faceter blog.

Do you want to know the TOP-9 reasons why you should refuse to buy video surveillance from Aliexpress and other Chinese trading platforms? Read on.

1. Violation of Russian law

In fact, the situation is not simple:

  • Chinese seller can SELL video surveillance equipment, and a Russian citizen can BUY goods from the Chinese market;
  • but the fact that you can buy a product DOES NOT MEAN AT ALL THAT IT CAN BE RECEIVED BY THE POST OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION AND USED. We are talking about camouflaged (spy) equipment for the so-called covert intelligence gathering and a number of similar devices (those that are equipped with video cameras and microphones).

Receiving a criminal sentence is the greatest risk for a citizen of the Russian Federation. We are talking about a violation of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, Article 138.1, which regulates the circulation of special. technical devices for the secret collection of information.

Official judicial statistics for 2019 in relation to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (source: http://stat.apipress.rf/stats/ug/t/14/s/17):

  • convicted — 73 people;
  • absolved — only 2 people;
  • imprisonment up to 4 years — 3 people;
  • conditional imprisonment — 21 people;
  • restriction of freedom — 5 people;
  • fine (30-35 thousand rubles) — 43 people.

The lion’s share of criminal liability arises at the moment the parcel is received at the Russian Post, and it is in this place that most of the arrests by police officers occur.

Risk level: extremely high.


  • get acquainted with the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 214 and the list of equipment (date 10.03.2000);
  • read the article “Wireless micro camera for covert video surveillance“;
  • do not buy video equipment from popular Chinese sites.

2. Equipment without Russian certification

According to Russian laws, foreign equipment (containing Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and/or encryption modules) imported into the Russian Federation must undergo certification and notification procedures.

First of all, IP video cameras with built-in Wi-Fi fall under the mandatory certification standards. Equipment capable of identifying objects using a radio signal (RFID) also falls under the law.

Important: the Russian Federation has a practice of administrative punishment. For example, 6 years ago, the customs office of Ulyanovsk opened an administrative case against E. Yarutkin. A resident of Ulyanovsk purchased a smartphone from a foreign online store, which was not officially presented in Russia.

Source link: https://www.rbc.ru/newspaper/2014/07/16/56be39059a7947299f72cd26

Risk level: medium.

Possible punishment: confiscation of property and a fine of 1-2.5 thousand rubles, according to the Administrative Code 16.3.

Solution: buy equipment from Chinese manufacturers from official representatives in the Russian Federation.

3. Software with viruses

It is not uncommon for video equipment purchased in China to contain malware and/or spyware.

Trojans are deployed for:

  • receiving bank card data;
  • obtaining access to registration data from Internet resources;
  • sending spam;
  • collection, processing and resale of email addresses.

Risk level: high.

Solution: Don’t buy Chinese noname brands.

4. Inconsistency of goods with description

Classic Aliexpress — the received product does not match the online description.

And most often, when it comes to video cameras, inaccurate translation leads to confusion. For example, the customer understands from the name that they are paying for branded equipment, but in fact the exact translation says: better than the brand.

Risk level: medium.

Solution: carefully read and translate the product card. Refuse to purchase in case of suspicion.

5. No warranty or technical support

A significant disadvantage of all purchases of electronics and household appliances through Aliexpress is the lack of warranty and technical support. Video surveillance equipment is no exception.

Risk level: high. Cheap equipment cannot be of high quality.

Solution: if you need 10 cameras, buy 12-13 units or refuse to buy at all.

6. Difficulties in installation, firmware and software updates

If you do not count on installing Chinese video cameras yourself, then it will be difficult for you to find a master. Experts don’t want to mess with problematic equipment. The same goes for firmware, software updates and system maintenance.

Risk level: high.

Solution: do your research or refuse to buy on Ali.

7. Lack of integration

Whether an Aliexpress video surveillance kit will be capable of integration with other hardware and software is always an open question.

Read how to connect a video camera to a smartphone here.

The interaction of the system is implemented through specific Chinese interfaces, which consist of hieroglyphs and are poorly adapted to Western consumers.

Risk level: medium.

Solution: choose those Chinese brands, mobile applications that are represented in Google Play and the AppStore.

8. Counterfeits

Experts are sure that about 37% of brands on Chinese trading sites are counterfeit. The lion’s share of the shadow market is engaged in counterfeiting the medium price range (not elite brands).

The general specificity of Aliexpress is such that the Chinese sellers sincerely ignore such a thing as copyright.

Risk level: medium to high.

Solution: refuse to buy.

9. Damage to the goods during transportation

It is not for nothing that in reviews of parcels from China, most users note when the goods arrived safe and sound, and when they were damaged.

It is hard to imagine how a video camera can survive during the China-Russia transportation. The specificity of such an order is the high cost and fragility of the product.

Risk level: high.

Solution: preliminary risk assessment.

Instead of a conclusion

Choosing video surveillance equipment is not an easy task. In addition to technical difficulties, buying from China, in particular from Aliexpress, is complicated by legal and other specific nuances of this industry. Our editorial staff recommends to refuse rash purchases of non-certified, non-warranted and controversial equipment. Make a choice in favor of trusted suppliers and honest software.

Александр Вебер

Alexander Weber

Specialist in video surveillance, video analytics, cloud storage systems. Consultant on the integration of video surveillance systems and tools in various business sectors. Over 10 years of industry experience.

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